Crest toothpaste is one of America’s leading oral hygiene brands.
Known around the world for their amazing whitening properties, Crest products are clearly beneficial for human teeth.
But, human toothpaste and especially those containing Xylitol do not have the same benefits for dogs. These can be very harmful to your furry friends!
Xylitol is a sugar alcohol and carbohydrate often used as a sugar substitute in gum, toothpaste, and mints which can cause major issues for your pup’s health.
Although Crest products generally do not contain this ingredient, this article will highlight why Xylitol consumption can be extremely dangerous for canines and the alternatives that you can use to help keep your pets’ teeth clean other than human toothpaste.
Why Do Dogs Need Their Teeth Cleaned?
Cleaning your dog’s teeth is a very important part of keeping their health in top shape. Dental issues are the second most common problem in dog health which shows how key looking after their teeth really is.
Although dogs aren’t prone to cavities like humans are, plaque build-up can lead to disease-ridden teeth and many painful problems for your furry friend.
This can cause teeth to require removal and can even trigger permanent damage to the bone underneath. So, it’s important to keep your pooch’s teeth clean to save them any discomfort, as well as to help keep your vet bills low.
Plus, owners often complain of their dog’s smelly breath. Brushing their teeth is a perfect solution to this issue and takes very little effort with huge rewards, both for you and your dog.
Many people think that using human toothpaste on dogs is the same as using dog-specific toothpaste.
This is not the case and you should always research dog-specific care before even buying a dog so that you know how to care for your animal properly.
Why Is Xylitol Used in Human Toothpaste?
Xylitol is an artificial sweetener. It is used in many human toothpastes because it’s completely safe for human consumption and has a variety of health benefits for our teeth.
This sugar alcohol boosts saliva production which prevents bacteria from sticking to the teeth.
This allows for less plaque build-up over time whilst using Xylitol products.
Likewise, it boosts the immune system proteins which will reduce the formation of bacteria in the first place.
The fact that Xylitol isn’t converted to acids within the mouth is also helpful because acids are infamous for eroding tooth enamel, eventually causing the teeth to decay.
Although large consumption of Xylitol can lead to health issues like diarrhea and cramps, the amount we as humans consume is very small, especially because we do not swallow our toothpaste after brushing.
How Is Xylitol Poisonous to Dogs?
On the other hand, Xylitol is very poisonous to dogs.
Therefore, it isn’t safe to use human toothpaste on dogs or keep them where your dog can reach them.
So, you should always check the ingredients list of your toothpaste before buying to ensure the wellbeing of your animal.
Xylitol does not stimulate the release of insulin from the pancreas in humans.
However, it releases insulin massively in dogs causing their blood sugar level to rapidly drop. This is called hypoglycemia.
Symptoms include vomiting, muscle spasms, seizures, weakness, loss of appetite, and often death. So, it’s vital to ensure that you keep any products containing Xylitol out of reach of your pet.
What Should You Do if Your Dog Ate Some Toothpaste With Xylitol in it?
You must act fast. If you think your dog has eaten toothpaste with Xylitol in it, you should contact your vet straight away.
Xylitol is absorbed into the blood very quickly, so symptoms can come on within half an hour of consumption but may take up to 12 hours to come into effect.
If you do this quickly, your dog has a higher chance of survival than if you wait.
There is no antidote to Xylitol poisoning.
However, vets will be able to offer you advice quickly to get your dog back to its normal self.
Generally, they will guide you to bring your dog into the clinic so that they can induce vomiting and get the product out of your animal as rapidly as possible.
Your dog may need to stay in the vets for a few nights to be kept under close monitoring as well as on a sugar drip to get their sugar levels back to normal.
If your dog is in a coma or develops liver failure, then the prognosis is very poor, and it may require life-saving treatments.
Do Any Types of Crest Toothpaste Contain Xylitol?
There seem to be no current Crest toothpastes containing Xylitol in them. Therefore, if your dog has eaten Crest toothpaste they should be okay! However, it’s a good idea to take them to the vet if they have consumed a lot of Crest toothpaste just in case, as this could still be harmful to their health and make them ill.
This is because the majority of Crest products contain fluoride as their main ingredient. Chronic overexposure to fluoride (which can be caused by regular tooth brushing with human toothpaste) can lead to weak bones, gastrointestinal issues, and abnormal bone growths in dogs.
High exposure to such chemicals occurs because dogs swallow their toothpaste, unlike humans who spit their toothpaste out after brushing. So, even brushing your dog’s teeth once using human toothpaste can cause adverse effects.
How Does Dog Toothpaste Compare With Human Toothpaste?
Because dogs don’t understand the concept of spitting the toothpaste out, dog-specific toothpaste is okay to swallow and will not give canines an upset stomach.
These generally include ingredients like baking soda and other non-foaming products which will help to scrub any debris on your dog’s teeth away without causing them distress by filling their mouths.
Also, dog toothpaste does not generally taste like strong mint. This is because such a pungent flavor is very off-putting for canines.
Although they often taste like poultry, beef, or vanilla, they do have a minty scent which means your dog’s breath will smell much better without causing them any upset.
Do Any Types of Colgate Toothpaste Contain Xylitol?
Colgate is another best-selling US brand. Colgate’s ‘Smile for Good’ whitening toothpaste, ‘Kids Toothpaste 3-5 years’ and ‘Baby Toothpaste 0-2 Years’ all include Xylitol in their ingredients lists.
Therefore, it’s vital to check where you are storing these Colgate toothpastes and keep them out of reach of your canines.
High cabinets or drawers are your best bet.
What Other Best-selling Brands of Toothpaste Contain Xylitol?
Although famous brands like Colgate and Crest don’t include this chemical in the majority of their products, it’s still important to research the type of toothpaste you are using to ensure that your dog will not be harmed if it accidentally ingests it.
Other best-selling human toothpaste brands containing Xylitol include Epic Dental 31%, Cali White, SPLAT Biomed, Aloe Dent, Lavera, Marvis, and Spry.
Xylitol is not the most common chemical used in toothpaste and ingredients like Sorbitol, Glycerol, and Fluorides are much more common, some of which are also potentially harmful to dogs.
What Are The Leading Brands of Dog Toothpaste?
There are countless kinds of dog toothpaste currently on the market, so there is no excuse to be using human toothpaste on your canine.
These are all inoffensive to your dog and each have their own helpful qualities.
Here are a few you could try out to see which one your dog prefers. Virbac C.E.T. Enzymatic Toothpaste which can be bought for around $10 on Amazon comes in a tasty chicken flavour that is sure to appeal to your dog.
This is brown in color and may stain white fur which is an important point to note.
The Nylabone Advanced Oral Care Puppy Dental Kit is a great option.
It comes with a finger toothbrush to allow easier access into your dog’s mouth and the ability to reach all of the teeth without too much hassle.
Arm & Hammer Enzymatic Dog toothpaste is great for bad breath as it comes in a range of refreshing flavors like vanilla and ginger. There are countless other options available both in the vets and online so it’s easier than ever to try new products until you find the right one for your pup.
To be on the safe side and ensure the health of your pet, you should never use human toothpaste on your dogs.
Although they are obviously harmless to humans and may not immediately kill your dog, why take the risk when you can easily buy dog-specific toothpaste?
Using human toothpaste on canines can increase their chances of a number of health problems, both short-term and in the long run.
Other household products containing Xylitol are candies, jams, syrups, protein bars, chocolate, nut butters, and the list continues.
So, it’s important to be aware of how many everyday products found within your home could be harmful to your dog. Let us know in the comments which brand of dog toothpaste you have found to work the best!